Caryn Riswold

Caryn Riswold

Caryn Riswold will be inducted as Wartburg College’s Mike and Marge McCoy Family Distinguished Chair in Lutheran Heritage and Mission on Monday, Oct. 29, during the college’s regular chapel time beginning at 10:15 a.m. in the Wartburg Chapel.

Riswold, who was named to the chair following the retirement of the Rev. Kathryn Kleinhans, came to Wartburg this fall from Illinois College, where she taught more than a dozen different religion and women and gender studies courses.

“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Riswold into the Wartburg community; she has long been a leader among Lutheran theologians, demonstrating a compelling capacity to relate the truths of our heritage to the issues and challenges of the contemporary world,” said Darrel Colson, Wartburg president.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Augustana University (South Dakota) in 1993, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Claremont School of Theology in 1995 and a Master of Theology and Doctor of Philosophy from Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago in 1997 and 2000, respectively.

Riswold was a postdoctoral fellow with the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts at Valparaiso University from 2000 to 2002. She has authored three books, including “Two Reformers: Martin Luther and Mary Daly as Political Theologians,” as well as numerous articles in academic, denominational and online journals. She also has presented on Lutheranism, vocation, women studies and other topics at conferences and other events across the United States.

“In my time here already, I have seen how the Lutheran heritage of Wartburg is expansive and inclusive, empowering our mission going forward,” Riswold said. “I’m thrilled to be here educating students who will serve our neighbors and become transformative leaders, as well as working alongside dedicated staff and faculty making those lives possible.”

She also is a member of several national organizations, including the Association of Teaching Theologians of the ELCA, National Women’s Studies Association, American Association of University Professors and the American Academy of Religion.

The McCoy Family Distinguished Chair was established in 2013 with a $2 million gift from Mike and Marge McCoy of Ellison Bay, Wis. The McCoys are parents of Wartburg graduates, Matthew (1993) and Michele (1997). Mike McCoy, who retired as CFO of Hormel Foods Corporation, is the chair of the Board of Regents. The McCoys also chaired the college’s successful Transforming Tomorrow comprehensive campaign.